romea - logo
February 19, 2018
Zprávy e-mailem - Nemáte čas číst naše zprávy každý den? Nechte si posílat souhrn toho nejdůležitějšího tak často, jak  chcete Vy.
extended search

European Roma and Travellers Forum asks Pope to revise his rhetoric on Roma

6.11.2015 17:52
Pope Francis received more than 5 000 Romani pilgrims from the Americas, Asia and Europe at the Vatican on 26 October 2015. (PHOTO:
Pope Francis received more than 5 000 Romani pilgrims from the Americas, Asia and Europe at the Vatican on 26 October 2015. (PHOTO:

In a letter addressed to the Pope today, the President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) Mr Gheorghe Raducanu welcomes the Catholic Church's recent initiatives to combat discrimination against Roma, Sinti and Travellers, but regrets that some of the Pope's well-intentioned remarks are likely to instead promote the sentiments that promote such discrimination by the majority population. “Asking the audience to be good Christians 'avoiding all that is not worthy of this name: lies, frauds, swindles, altercation', is excellent advice to be addressed to all Christians but, in the context of an audience with Roma and Sinti, this advice seems to be addressed exclusively to them," the letter notes.

The phrasing of the Pope’s advice to the Roma on education was equally problematic, according to the ERTF, namely: “your children have the right to go to school, do not prevent them from doing so.” Such a statement blames Romani parents for their children's low participation rate in the schools and disregards the difficulties Romani parents face, such as the bullying of Romani children in the schools by their schoolmates and even teachers, lack of money to pay for school lunches and supplies, lack of public transportation from Romani neighborhoods to the schools, non-Romani principals' refusal to enroll Romani children, and segregated schools or segregated classes inside schools.

The ERTF believes the Pope is not aware that such characterizations actually promote the discrimination of Romani people "by those who will use his statement to justify their racism. We regret that this advice can be interpreted as blaming the victims of marginalization rather than the authorities who are responsible for this state of affairs."

The Pope also asked the Roma and Sinti not to “give the media and public opinion reason to speak ill” of them, which makes it sound as if the media is legitimately speaking ill of the Roma and Sinti. In fact there is a great deal of information available about media outlets cashing in on the Roma by engaging in sensationalized reporting about them that is biased or even completely fabricated and intended to spread fear of them.

The ERTF regrets that the Pope did not take the opportunity of the Romani pilgrimage to celebrate the historical contributions of Romani people to Christianity or Romani saints. The letter also notes that "He could have offered an apology for the persecution and witch hunts of Romani people since the Middle Ages."

Raducanu also says that instead of chastising the Roma during their pilgrimage, the Pope should "should instead have chastised the members of his universal church who are actively preventing Romani children from going to school. He could have brought attention to those who are actively keeping Romani children away from their parents. Unfortunately we did not hear any message of hope or inspiration or a criticism of the treatment of poverty, regardless of the national origin of the poor. Nor did we hear a condemnation of anti-Gypsyism, which is at the root of all these problems. Instead of singling them out the Pope should have made a call for solidarity among Christians, both Roma and non-Roma."

Lastly, the ERTF letter notes that "The Catholic Church seems to be unaware of the heterogeneity of the Roma world, that the word 'gypsy' is considered as pejorative by most communities, and that the overwhelming majority of Roma, Sinti and affiliated groups are sedentary." The letter nevertheless closes with a statement of "wholehearted" support for the Catholic Church's efforts to further Romani integration. 

agw, ERTF
Views: 621x

Don't miss:

Related articles:


antigypsyism, Civil society, Discrimination, Events, Papež


--ilustrační foto--

Czech survey finds youth are more prejudiced against minorities than their elders

8.2.2018 7:46
A survey performed by experts from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR) in collaboration with the Institute of Sociology has ascertained that while the subjects of the Holocaust, minorities and tolerance are being taught in the Czech schools, the instruction is having no influence on some widespread prejudices. ÚSTR has long focused on instruction about these sensitive historical subjects in the schools and more than 600 teachers take its courses annually.
 full story

--ilustrační foto--

Outgoing Czech PM backs MP who doubted Romani Holocaust, says he has apologized and his words have been "misinterpreted"

7.2.2018 16:32
Outgoing Czech PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) says that he believes the chair of the SPD movement, Tomio Okamura, has already apologized for his remarks about the Protectorate-era
concentration camp at Lety u Písku, a site of the genocide of the Roma during the Second World War. When asked today whether he supports removing Okamura from his post as vice-chair of the lower house, as the Christian Democrats propose, the PM said he considers Okamura's apology to have been sufficient.
 full story

--ilustrační foto--

Czech Republic: Unique "Memory of the Roma" project keeps historical memory alive through video

7.2.2018 7:33
Over a cup of coffee in her apartment in Rokycany, Czech Republic, 67-year-old Květa Tůmová Tomášová recalls the stories of her family, whose roots are in the Šariš region of eastern Slovakia. She talks about labor camps, partisans, the Second World War, the postwar migration to the Czech Republic, her childhood in Rokycany, and the classroom where she and her brother Mírák were the only Romani children.
 full story


Každý diskutující musí dodržovat PRAVIDLA DISKUZE SERVERU Moderátoři serveru si vyhrazují právo bez předchozího upozornění skrýt nevhodné příspěvky z diskuse na Ty pak budou viditelné jen pro vás a vaše přátele na Facebooku. Při opakovaném porušení pravidel mohou moderátoři zablokovat zobrazování vašich příspěvků v diskusích na ostatním uživatelům.

More articles from category

romea - logo